Author Resources


These are the essential resources I’ve used to sell 70,000+ fiction books over the last six years without an agent or publisher. Current as of July 3, 2023.

NOTE: I only list services I’ve actually used.


Listed price is for a complete cover (eBook and print-on-demand). Prices fluctuate due to exchange rates; they might also change depending on complexity or in the future. These are listed from most expensive to least; this is not a quality ranking. These designers can also create assets like Facebook banners, logos and so forth. Note that some designers have long lead times, so contact them a minimum of 3 months in advance of your publication date.


  • Tom Edwards (varies based on complexity of illustration; my cover was ~$950) (sci-fi)
  • Alberto Besi (varies based on complexity of illustration; my cover was $800)


  • I recommend Vellum ($29 per book/$249 for unlimited use). Beautiful, simple, and intuitive eBook & print formatting with a single click. Mac only, but I ran it on Windows with MacInCloud ($30 for 30 hours). That was usable, but the latency made that a little choppy…so I bought a Mac specifically to run Vellum. It’s that good.
  • Scrivener ($40 Windows/$45 Mac) and Adobe InDesign ($30/mo) can also format eBooks and print interiors, but are far less user-friendly.
  • Reedsy and Draft2Digital both offer free formatting tools.


  • ConvertKit (free up to 300 subscribers; $25/mo for 1k+ subs): I use this for all my lists; well-designed interface and a solid feature set that balances ease of use with advanced features.
  • Active Campaign ($9/mo for up to 500 subs; $29/mo for 1k+ subs): has more advanced automation features than ConvertKit, but a less user-friendly interface.


  • Book Edge ($18/mo): a lightning fast and much improved dashboard for displaying/analyzing your Amazon KDP sales data that requires no installation.
  • Story Origin ($10/mo): similar to BookFunnel and Prolific Works for cross promotions, but with more features (including tools to help you manage things like beta readers and audiobook codes) and a super-responsive developer who is constantly releasing updates.
  • Book Funnel ($5/mo): seamlessly delivers your free books (e.g., reader magnets) to email subscribers. Vital for building your mailing list. Also offers opportunities to join cross promotions with other authors.


Recommendation lists usually devolve into overwhelming and useless 35 page appendixes. I’ll be frank: I read a lot of books. Most are not good. These are indispensable.